There Has Been A Massive Surge In Catalans Naming Their Babies Leo Since Messi’s Arrival

Lionel Messi's impact at Barcelona seems to be extending well beyond the world of football.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the Barça captain's shortened first name of 'Leo' has become a very popular choice for the citizens of Catalonia.

The Spanish newspaper added that the name Leo was rarely ever used prior to the Argentine forward's arrival at the club. In fact, when the 31-year-old Barcelona talisman made his arrival at the La Masia academy, there were only four Leos born.

Since then, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has risen to the top of the footballing world and, well, it seems like Leo has become a popular choice. In 2017, for example, there were 443 newborns called Leo.

If there was a bigger statement to be made, then there are now more Leos in Catalonia than 'Jordis.'

Of course, Jordi is a popular name in the region for different reasons. Sant Jordi, who is the saint patron of Catalonia, is celebrated widely by many in Barcelona, for example.

Credit: Mundo Deportivo
Credit: Mundo Deportivo

Barcelona will wrap up their La Liga campaign on Sunday when they travel to the Ipurua Municipal Stadium for their clash against Eibar.

Following on from that, Ernesto Valverde's men will play against Valencia in the Copa del Rey final next Saturday.

Frenkie de Jong, who arrives at Barcelona in the summer, has already admitted that he is excited to see the Argentina captain in training.

"I'm dying to see Messi during training, I think I'm just going to pass the ball to him, ha-ha," he said.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"I'm not going to change the way I am, I do not care if I'm going to be the centre of attention in Barcelona.

"I'm curious to know how I'm going to adapt there and I'm eager to learn from the best people around me."

Barcelona are reportedly ready to axe up to ten first-team players as they prepare to revamp their squad.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

It is expected that the club will land Antoine Griezmann, too, who announced that he would leave Atlético Madrid at the end of the season.

Which other players should Barcelona sign in the summer?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]

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